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Greeks Rioting Again | Main | Overnight Open Thread (2-12-2012)
February 12, 2012

Open Thread

Anybody got any good crackpot theories?

I come up with crackpot theories all the time. Not the paranoid bluster of people like truthers and birthers. Science theories. Science... crackpot... bluster. I know just enough about science to consider a wide array of things and not enough to eliminate anything. Perfect! I thought it might be interesting to see what kinds of ideas the people of the moron horde might come up with.

How about raising Venice?

The power of fracking machines is incredible. Fracking works by cracking open rock thousands of feet below with pressure applied from above. Beau coups pressure. Part of fracking involves injecting sand to hold open the cracks once the pressure is released. This gives hydrocarbons a path out of the production zone.

An idea occurred to me long ago while watching a show about sinking Venice. They could drill a several dozen injection sites all around the city. Once drilled, the sites could be made inconspicuous when the drills are removed. They could place powerful injection pumps at these sites. Instead of injecting massive amounts of water, inject sand and water. Tons of sand. Inject an entire desert of sand, slowly, over time. Sand holds up better than clays and would result in a porous, strong layer of sand through which water cold easily migrate. And in the case of Venice, you probably wouldn't even have to fracture rock--you know, rock-rock. Prolly just weak sedimentary rock.

On the surface, you would have disguised pump stations working 24 hours a day. They would draw water from the lagoon. Dump trucks full of sand would occasionally appear to keep the machines supplied. Most of the noise from the engines could be cleverly absorbed and/or shielded. If sound was still a problem, you could turn off the pumps when necessary, say, in the evenings.

Regardless, you could build up huge plumes of uncompressable sand at the injection point of each well. Over time, these would become large enough to raise the entire city out of the mud. This could be done evenly with computerized monitoring of city levels.

This seems like such a no-brainer, so I looked it up. I found an article at NatGeo where they were discussing injecting water only. Water? Yeah, that might work for a period of time, but it wouldn't be nearly as reliable as sand injection. Water moves around. And away eventually.

Imagine how much they could raise the city in ten years.

They could keep the wells in place turn them on and off as necessary for decades to come; after all, the the sinking clays around the sand plumes underground might require occasional puffing-up. After a while, the problem disappear completely.

If anyone knows why this wasn't started 30 years ago, let me know.


Oh, even more crackpot?

How about space travel? Everyone knows the current limitations: Chemical fuel is too heavy; it takes too much, and not enough bang for the buck, etc. We can't do exotic things like interstellar ramjets that suck up fuel along the way (hydrogen) and fuse it into helium. We can't do fusion. We can't bend space or create wormholes, and I hate theories that invoke some form of as-yet-undiscovered unobtainium (magic steel) that enables us to do so. Those theories work like this: 1) Build a ship. 2) ???? 3) Space travel! Besides, bending space can be hard on your joints. Might as well dive into a black hole and hope for the best.

Silly stuff.

My theory has to do with quantum entanglement. When particles are entangled, they share a state no matter how far apart they are. Whatever you do to one, the other reacts instantly. What if you could entangle large chunks of matter, say, two plates of (okay, magic steel), and then put one on the spaceship and one on Earth. You could bombard the one on Earth with photons which are absorbed and then re-radiated. When re-radiated, the photons would radiate from both plates, albeit at a lower frequency. A single photon would be split into two, essentially, one re-radiating here; the other, there. In this way, you could put all of the bulky, energy-producing apparatus on Earth and not in the spaceship. All of the fuel would be on Earth as well. When the spaceship needs to go, all you do is bombard the plate on earth with energy. Part of the energy re-radiates from the plate on the spaceship. Voila!

I need to give it a name: Brewer-o-Drive. Yeah. Naa, heh. Silly. How about "quantum drive"? No, seriously, you have to call it Brewer-o-Drive. I like that. It has a nice ring to it, a ring that includes my name. I'll sue if I have to.

Follow me on Twitter.

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posted by rdbrewer at 05:20 PM

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