Nov 21, 2010

The "Technological Fix" fixed!

The "Guardian"of Saturday, 20th. November 2010, "Review" section has a review of "Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star that Gives Us Life."  Very interesting, and straight onto FTSE's Christmas Wish List. But the single most fascinating observation in the book  . .  thermonuclear reactions in the Sun build the heavy elements out of hydrogen and helium. And it is estimated that these processes have produced ENOUGH GOLD IN THE SUN TO COVER THE WHOLE OF SCOTLAND TO A DEPTH OF HALF A MILE!  (There's gold in them thar sunbeams!)

Now . .  that's one helluva pile of the precious yellow metal, or as the lovely Jinksy says "Heavens to Murgatroyd!"  But it raises interesting issues for debate and further research.  Such as: -

1.  Is this huge dollop of bounty recoverable? And if so, how?
2.  Does the Rand Corporation know about it? And what d'you think they'll do about it?
3. What would trans-shipping this supertonnage home to it's rightful resting place (Fort Knox, the Bank of England) do to Gold Prices on world markets? 
4. Horror upon Horror!  What if the Fiendish Chinese get to the Treasures of Helios first! (Better bomb them back into their Ming vases, just to be on the safe side.)

The Technical Problems are summarised here: -

The first, essential stage is to cool the Sun down to a temperature comfortable for deep mining.  Then you need to chip away at the ponderous mass of the Sun until what's left isn't so heavy that its gravity flattens the miners into bits about the size and shape of Krugerrands or gold sovereigns. Reducing the Sun to the same mass as the Earth will be no small task and YOU COULD LOSE A LOT OF THE GOLD IN THE PROCESS, which will not please the bean-counters in earthly banks and Stock Exchanges.
 There's no water on the Sun, so far as is known, but NASA tells us there's plenty on the Moon after all.  So we'll need a long pipeline to transport water for drinking, cooking, showering and flushing, from Moon to Sun. Oh . . almost forgot . .  for cooling the Sun as mentioned above.  And once you've solved the water supply problem growing food won't prove difficult. After all, it's SUNLIGHT that makes things grow, and there'll be plenty of sunlight right on the doorstep, so to speak, for growing sunflowers and so forth. Stop finding problems that don't really exist, you earthbound earthling defeatists. This is the Space Age, goddammit! No sense of adventure, that's your trouble.  Leave it to you lot, we'd still be living in caves.  Just think of what could be done with all the wealth! Our dream of colonising the Universe would be several trillion trillion dollars nearer fulfilment.

The Rand Corporation will benefit from the mullions of bullion, of course, and I'm sure they are smart enough to fandingle World Government's into financing the necessay technological and start-up expenses, so their shareholders won't suffer.

But FTSE has a much simpler solution.  Simply WAIT!  In (about) 4.5 billion years, the Sun will expand until it is . . . so to speak . . . within touching distance!  Then simply take your bucket and spade . . . and help yourself.

Who needs gold anyway?


  1. Murgatroyd is flubernostragated at such grabynonchink heliosillity...
    And that probably goes for me too. :)

  2. I think Jinksy is saying you need a new blog for outrageously silly stuff. Or maybe yet another one for even sillier stuff like this. Was Spike the really really silly father he said he was?

  3. Stafford . . Jinksy . . . If you consult New Scientist, The Scientific American and listen to the vapourings that stream out of the BBC, NASA and the White House, you'll hear idiots promoting schemes hardly less silly than mine. Seriously! Colonising space. Living on the Moon. Inhabiting other planets. And the like.
    Here's a very minor example. "Hydrogen fuelled cars" to reduce pollution and depletion of oil reserves.. Problem. Earth's atmosphere contains virtually no hydrogen. So we'll need to manufacture it. How? By "cracking" low fraction paraffins (i.e. oil) OR . . electrolyse water into hydrogen and oxygen. How? By burning oil/gas to make the elecrticity to do the electrolysis. These are Gee Whizz solutions to the REAL PROBLEM . People insist on living a hundred miles from where they work and have given up riding bikes!
    Want another one? Central heating. It's an INSANE way to heat your house but right now I can't be bothered to explain why.


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