gardening

Frictionites

Often during large landslides, rocks are melted due to the friction between the ground and the bottom layer of the landslide. This is a well studied geological phenomenon and you can find those frictionites (rocks once melted by friction) everywhere on the globe.

But does it have to be a landslide? Maybe a larger earthquake should be enough to warm up some rocks to the melting point? Of course, it happens every day.

Therefore a large collapsing iceberg should also boil some water if all the circumstances are right.  I think I saw some fog during those spectacular Youtube clips of Perito Moreno or some other glacier.

It’s kind of sad watching all that mechanical energy converting into useless heat. But then again, it can be very spectacular. There are many glaciers to play with in this world. To watch how a million tons of ice fall into the ocean. If you have triggered the collapse, it’s even better. And so many mountains are also just waiting to be demolished spectacularly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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lizzaed

gardening

Lizzard Cought by Spider

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gardening

My Bedroom View

Now, I see the entire lake Bled from my bedroom window. About a few kilometers away, few hundred meters bellow.

I am calculating just when I’ll see the Sun’s and the Moon’s water reflection and for how long those will be visible each time. It’s a complicated calculation due to the hills on the other side of the lake, casting shadow on the water. Not always, but frequently. Especially now, when it’s winter, a lot of reflections should be visible.

Currently I estimate 20 such “eclipses” per year.

 

 

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gardening

Polar Bears on Antarctica

I am quite surprised no one has tried it. Capturing and caging something like 20 to 40 polar bears from the Arctic and sending them south on a ship, wouldn’t be that difficult.

Releasing them in springtime would give them two summers in a row and they should be able to adapt.

Penguins would suffer and all the south seals as well. But after the initial population explosion, the invasive species would stabilize (more or less) in a few years. Perhaps, for the sake of a balance, a lot of penguins can be transported in the opposite direction, to try to populate the north with them.

Some arctic birds do travel between the poles on a regular bases. So they would recognize bears, easily and wave to them from afar. Also orcas and some other whales are those kind of travelers. But bears, walruses and penguins can’t walk that far. We should give them a helping hand, don’t you think?

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gardening

Neodymium Magnets for Gold Mining

As we all know, gold doesn’t sticks to magnets. A moving gold particle can, however, be slowed as well as accelerated using a strong permanent magnet.  You can take one of them, fix it above an open empty bottle, and submerge it into a fast, gold carrying stream of water.

The induced electrical current inside a gold particle is the cause of the force between the magnet and the gold particle, so its direction can be changed this way and it will more likely go into the bottle bellow.

All you need to do is pick up and empty the traps you have installed, just like every trapper does.

In reality, the shape of a bottle-magnets system must be quite complicated to be very useful, but the point is that this way, Lenz’s principle can indeed collect gold for you.

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gardening

Antarctica Again

– especially its wast snow deposits, which are just lying there, mostly unused. All the rivers in the world would need a few thousand years to bring all this water back to the sea.

The average ice elevation is about 2 kilometers. Imagine then the resulting ice-electric power! Might be a bit awkward, though possible, to mine ice as if it were sand, as I suggested in the previous post. It would be much better if it could be melted before it’s used in turbines. Unfortunately, we would need much more energy for that, than we could get back as generated electricity.

But there’s a catch. This needed power is merely the heat – a low valued form of energy. Where could it come from then?

Maybe it could come from deep down as geothermal energy. But that source is too deep, and too dispersed. A super volcano beneath the ice could provide enough energy for only a fraction of a percent of the thermal energy needed. There are maybe 1000 cubic kilometers of molten lava there, while we would need many millions of cubic kilometers to melt all the snow. Today Antarctica’s ice cap is large enough to cool down the Perm Siberian Surge for quite a while, which was much bigger than any super-volcano from the recorded history.

The next candidate is the Sun. During long polar summer days, under a large glass dome, a meter or so of ice (covered with soot) would melt during each northern winter. Currently we have no technology to build large enough glass-like domes of the required size. Especially not with the structure integrity to cope with the winter weather there.

A mirror in the orbit, could do this job all year around. Imagine a warm lake in the South pole, under intense reflected light, with a long estuarine pipe to the coast, where a giant hydroelectric power plant would operate. The problem is, that a gigantic orbital mirror is certainly not achievable right now.

We could pump the warm oceanic water 90 degrees south, to melt the local ice. Ironically we would not need any energy for this, since it would be a closed pipe system, like the central heating of a house. The warm oceanic water would go up inside the red pipe and then cooled, return back through the blue pipe. The pond on the pole would act as a heat exchanger. The melted fresh water from said pond is then transported to the plant at the coast, by a different long pipe – an inherently much smaller one – which is the problem.

A nuclear reactor, melting ice on the pole, would serve better in generating electricity here. The amount of energy would be about the same, so why bother with Antarctica?

I still think we should excavate the ice as if it were sand, and have the ice power plants on the Southern continent, or the shores of Greenland. Melting is out of the question.

The energy density of the polar ice may be almost a thousand times smaller than the energy density of oil. However, we have almost one million times more ice at our disposal.

Had I really believed in classical futurism, I would seriously advocate ice-mining for energy as a project for the middle or the end of the 21st century. But I do not, and all this was just a modest mental exercise.

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gardening

Crossing Antarctica

It was done over a century ago for the first time, and many times since.

Now it’s time to do something more down there. At least catch a hundred or so polar bears in the Arctic, and release them where no bear has gone before, on the shores of the Weddell sea. There they can eat seals and penguins, which is only a slightly different menu to the one they are used to.

It’s entirely possible that some polar bears would freeze in a somewhat colder place, but what can you do?

However this ecological project isn’t really what I have in mind. I just mentioned it as warm up.

There’s another extreme sport which can be played on Antarctica’s high plateau. You can put a working nuclear submarine there. Gradually, it will sink due to its thermal output and make a lake around itself. Now the submarine can cautiously swim around there, a few meters back and forth. The nuclear reactors should melt about a cubic meter of ice per second. Soon the submarine would be deep under the ice surface, surrounded by a water bubble. Swimming slowly it could cross Antarctica this way. Even lake Vostok could be visited with a nuclear submarine on the way to the South sea!

I’m not particularly enthusiastic about this either, but it could be done.

What I am all about, is snow mining. Near and around the South pole that is. You can’t just melt it, because that’s too energy intensive. For digging it up as if it were sand however, you don’t need a lot of energy. A clever way of mining ice makes the energy input almost negligible.

Once dug out, you put the ice on to a kind of a magnetic conveyor belt, which drives the freshly excavated snow to the ocean, several kilometers down and thousands of kilometers away. The conveyor belt is a neodymium magnetic railway. It does not require energy because it produces it in the process of electromagnetically breaking the shuttle’s descent. Eventually the snow is deposited into the ocean. In case of bad weather, we may imagine this transportation route inside a tunnel bellow the surface of the ice.

The energy produced this way is then transported via the HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) cables to the end users around the world. We are talking about a large linear motor/generator here, powered by the snow and ice flowing down into the ocean.

The energy reserves in Antarctica’s ice are equivalent to at least the amount of oil used worldwide in 300 years at the current consumption rate. For the first 100 years however, Greenland should do just fine – even cables could be much shorter since America and Europe are close by.

The Greens should appreciate it greatly, for at least four reasons:

  1. low carbon emissions
  2. no radioactivity involved
  3. cooling the now overheated polar ocean
  4. I even give up the colonization of Antarctica with polar bears, if the Greens agree to ice mining
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