||[Aug. 23rd, 2008|09:32 pm]
|[||Tags|||||amyl alcohols, analemmatic, art, bifilar, blue energy, butanol, carbon, cellulose, conics, energy, ethanol, frustration, fusion, gnomonic projection, hope, hydrogen, hydroxymethylfurfural, liquid-liquid extraction, maps, math, methanol, propanol, salting-out effect, science, skyhooks, space, sundials||]|
||||| Magna Cum Laude - Vidéki sanzon||]|
I still want to make sundials.
I'd wanted to invent a particular type of sundial for a while, one which includes a map of the world projected onto the plane beneath the gnomon (pointer) such that one could tell where in the world it happened to be apparent noon, and where in the tropics the sun was at its burningest position, directly overhead. It's been done. A mathematician (/cartographer?) named Franz Ritter figured out the projection long ago, which flying people still use, and some guy's got a whole website selling these things, rich-artist prices too. Meh. Now I can only make, not invent. Still, there should be joy. Besides, there are more surfaces to work with than just the horizontal plane, and I can replace the gnomon with, say, two wires in a bifilar setup for a we-have-you-now-Mr.-Sun crosshair effect and I can also find where the antisun is its antiburningest at the moment by using an antipodal map of the world. I also want to make an analemmatic dial using marked string in lieu of the ellipse, which is fine for an already-interactive sundial, I think.
I think a lot about energy.
I wonder where the next step in cellulose extraction for paper and/or dissolution for alcohol-of-choice/HMF/hydrogen production will come from, and whether people will ever start using more efficient, known means for extracting ethanol from water than distillation. I wonder how the osmotic-energy people are doing with their semipermeable membrane biofouling issue, how the MCF people are doing with their tokamaks, how the skyhook people are getting their ideas accepted, and the space-based solar people with their microwave beam stations. Not to mention the ground-laser-powered rocket people with their proof-of-concept flight nigh on a decade ago and then silence. Are they broke, bought or both now?