View Thread

Who is here? 1 guest(s)
 Print Thread
Heinlein "Shipstone" to become reality
Skeeve
Die hard sci-fi fans will get the reference.

For those that don't, let's just say; like space travel, the internet, cellphones and countless other everyday items, another prophetic plotline from a fictional future will soon become reality.

http://www.herald...002e0.html

It's so funny, almost everytime I use my cellphone, I think of Star Trek. When I read this article, I was totally flipped. A Shipstone in the Heinlein universe was a common item, it powered everything from houses and vehicles to entire cities.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
catman
I'm sure the utility companies will do everything they can to disable the implementation of said advance. Also, sodium metal is a very dangerous substance to have around, even if it's not molten (and 90 degrees C is close to its melting point). I used to have a pound of it! Disposal would be interesting.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Bob of QF
catman wrote:
I'm sure the utility companies will do everything they can to disable the implementation of said advance. Also, sodium metal is a very dangerous substance to have around, even if it's not molten (and 90 degrees C is close to its melting point). I used to have a pound of it! Disposal would be interesting.


As anything else, the sodium could be recycled at the end of the life span.

Even today, most of the lead in lead-acid batteries (still the largest battery group being made: starting cars) is from post-consumer production. It's cheaper to extract used lead plates, than from the ground.

So, to, I imagine extracting the used sodium metal ought to be cheaper than creating it new.

Interesting Times.

But, this thing wouldn't make a very good vehicle battery: imagine the explosion if a car powered by one of these, had a crash in the rain....
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Adam Ajaja
They would need a heck of a lot of safeguards. I think I'll wait to see what happens to people using it after it's available before I decide to get one myself
 
Bob of QF
Adam Ajaja wrote:
They would need a heck of a lot of safeguards. I think I'll wait to see what happens to people using it after it's available before I decide to get one myself


Lest you misunderstand, I was being a bit....dramatic.

Humans have been driving around bombs ever since Ford made a car that ran on the "waste liquid, gasoline"....

...an automobile's gas tank, especially if only partially full, is a literal bomb waiting for the right conditions.

Moreover, liquid fuel, even if the tank does not explode, can leak out after a collision, and create havoc to anyone trying to rescue the passengers-- moreso if it catches fire, which is even more likely now that super-hot catalytic converters are underneath all modern cars, including diesels.

We, as a species, often live side-by-side with rank danger and think nothing of it; we turn a blind eye to the dangers, because the technology in question is so appealing....

....how many people die from accidental electrical shock each year? The answer may surprise you-- it's alot.

More: how many people die from natural gas or propane or butane leaks every year? Again: a very high number. We put up with it, because the technology is so very convenient. And this is ignoring carbon monoxide risks associated with burning fuels indoors...

________

I think appropriate safeguards can be made for this thing-- putting it in the basement is an excellent start. Appropriate notice to the local fire people would be a major requirement, in my opinion: you do NOT want to flood that basement with plain water, in case of fire. (for example). Foam, or halon or CO2 would be superior. Or very limited use of water.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Jump to Forum:

Similar Threads

Thread Forum Replies Last Post
Skepchick skepticism meets reality...revisited The Rant Room 1 12/14/2014 09:18
What exactly is "Obamacare" and what did it change? U.S. Politics 5 07/21/2013 11:50
Catman's thread. (was "Is it true?") The Lounge 64 04/03/2013 13:25
Donald "Duck" Dunn Music Discussions 1 05/14/2012 18:32
Getting it wrong. "War on Christmas" needs better PR. Christianity 3 11/30/2011 13:26