Posts tagged ‘USD’

Hat Tip to Larry Niven

In the book Ringwold and its sequels, Larry Niven wrote of an artifact-world so large that 1:1 scale models of various planets, like earth, were created as islands in its vast oceans.  Not quite 1:1, but here is the same idea:

The World is a man-made archipelago of 300 islands in the shape of a
world map. The World is being built primarily using sand dredged from
the sea. Each island ranges from 23,000 m2 to 84,000 m2
(250,000"“900,000 square feet or 5.7"“21 acres) in size, with 50"“100 m of
water between each island. The development will cover an area of 9 km
in length and 6 km in width, surrounded by an oval breakwater. The only
means of transport between the islands will be by boat and helicopter.
Prices for the islands will range from $15-45 million (USD). The
average price for an island will be around $25 million (USD). Dredging
started in 2004 and as of March of 2007 The World is around 90%

Update:  I have long contended that, at least if you eliminate all entries from the list involving women, that owning an island is the ultimate male fantasy.  Also a good way to "short" global warming predictions, if you are so inclined

Al Gore's $100 Million Screensaver

This is an interesting study of the intersection of politics and science at NASA:

The new dramatic invention of the inventor of the Internet was to place
a satellite so far that the whole Earth can be observed 24 hours a day.
Isn't it fascinating? Why didn't you think about that? :-) Some
scientists refined the details for him - for example that the satellite
should be located in the L1 Lagrange point. The price? Well, the first
modest estimate was USD 135 million.

If you think about it for a
while, the scientific content of this project is next to nil. It is a
typical idea of a crackpot who has no tools to determine whether a
project is scientifically interesting or not. Already in 1999, during the Clinton-Gore administration, the project - nicknamed GoreSat or Gore's Screensaver - was more or less doomed. NASA Inspector General has also determined that the project is driven by politics, not science. It was found that the budget estimate was underestimated, too.

did they ever justify to study that project at all? Did they just tell
NASA that it has appeared in a dream of a prophet? Well, Al Gore wanted
the fresh picture of the whole Earth (well, just one-half, but it's OK)
to be constantly available as a source of inspiration: people could
finally see through the Internet, his other invention, that the Earth
is a little vulnerable child who has a fever. ;-) NASA added some
survey tasks, including measurements of the albedo every fifteen
minutes, that were not really needed and that are effectively performed
by existing devices, for example by CERES.