Cold fusion, p.1
Cold Fusion, p.1Phil Wheeler
Copyright 2012 Phil Wheeler
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The Fermi Paradox:
First stated by Physicist Enrico Fermi in 1950, it says that there is an apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations. The age of the universe and its vast number of stars suggest that unless the Earth is very atypical, extraterrestrial life should be common. If technological civilizations were common and moderately long-lived, then the galaxy ought to be fully inhabited. Vast distances of interstellar space should not be a significant barrier to any such civilization – assuming exponential population growth and plausible technology. Contact should be completely inevitable; we ought to find unavoidable evidence of little green men all about us. Our search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence should have been quickly successful.
We don't - It hasn't been - That's the paradox.
Or, as Fermi is reputed to have said “Where are they?”
July 21, 1969 2:56:00 Greenwich Mean Time
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
The words of astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon.
For the next 2 minutes nothing was broadcast.......
July 21, 1969 2:56:14 Greenwich Mean Time
Somewhere in the United States – as heard by Ham Radio operators...
Neil Armstrong: “What was it? What the hell was it? That's all I want to know...”
Mission Control: “What's there?... [garbled transmission] ...Mission Control calling Apollo Eleven...”
Neil Armstrong: “These babies are huge, sir...enormous. Oh God...you wouldn't believe it. I'm telling you there are other spacecraft out there, lined up on the far side of the crater edge. They're on the moon watching us...”
June 27th, 1999 The Russian Newspaper PRAVDA
Sensation: Cities Found On the Moon.
It was announced for the first time that man-made structures and objects have been discovered on the Moon. NASA scientists and engineers participating in the exploration of Mars and the Moon reported the results of their discoveries at a briefing held at the Washington National Press Club on March 21, 1999:
“Ruins of lunar cities stretch for many kilometers and huge domes, numerous tunnels, and other constructions are causing scientists to reconsider their opinions concerning the moon.”
NASA has denied both the Ham Radio reports and the Pravda article.
33,000 BC Somewhere on the land now submerged under the Sea of Japan
As darkness came to the valley the people of Ra'nai awaited the battle between the god of the day and the god of the night. Ra'nai would grow tired after his daily labors and Na'nai would come to drive him away. The azure sky would darken as the battle was joined and finally Na'nai would throw orange and red fire across the sky to drive away the weakened Ra’nai. Once again darkness would rule and the people would hide in their caves, huddled around the sacred fire, and wait for the return of the day god to drive away the terrors of the night, the things unseen, and the killing beasts that attacked any who might venture too far from the light. Ra'nai brought light and warmth to his people, but Na'nai was the bringer of the terrors of the dark and the cold. It was the way of things, day after day, night after night.
Then one night there appeared a bright light in the dark sky, and each night this light became bigger and brighter until it dominated the night sky and the night became almost as bright as the day. From above came the voice of god, it rumbled across the sky and shook the earth beneath them, and a great bird with flaming wings descended to them. Where the feet of the great bird touched the ground it crushed the earth beneath. The bird's mouth opened and from inside the stomach god appeared. They had all fallen to the ground and covered their eyes for he had come down to his people.
God spoke to them. They did not hear any words, but they knew that god was speaking to them. He told them to stand up and look at him. They gazed upon their god and he was beautiful in their sight. His form was not unlike that of his people, but he stood half again as tall as any of the clan. His face was smooth and rounded, like a rock in the stream, and shaped like a turtles back. He had no mouth, nose, or eyes. His head shone brightly in the glory of his light. The skin on his chest and legs was smooth; the color was like his face in passage across the sky. His feet and hands were not like normal feet and hands; they were smooth, and hairless.
From then on god would visit his people. Their god shared many things and talked of many things. He told them that he did not journey across the sky each day, or do battle with another god each evening. It was the passing of something he called day into night as the sun traveled its appointed course in the sky above. They did not understand.
Sometimes, god took some of the clan's young women on the giant bird, and into the sky. They did not try to stop god for the people were his to do with as he saw fit. Days later, god would bring them back and the women would tell the clan fantastic tales of a huge cave in the sky. The walls of the cave were made of stone the color of the rich earth and the ground of the cave was covered in animal skins unlike any they had ever seen, and they shone like the face of god. There were many openings in the walls of the cave; each one was round and shinning, like the inside of the shells that lay on the river side. The great path of the cave was covered in the reflected glory of god and did not need the sun to shine on it, for the glory of god gave it light. There was no night there. A river flowed from the throne where god was seated. It flowed down the middle of the cave. On each side of the river were trees that grew many different kinds of fruit never seen by the people of the clan. The cave held many other beings, and the most strange and wonderful thing about them was their shiny skin came off and they looked much like the clan, with eyes, and noses, and mouths.
The women where always returned, and some of them had later given birth to children. The children had to be from god, for the women had not yet been chosen as mates by any of the males, and the children were different than any of the other children. They were bigger, and their skin was lighter in color, and their hair was lighter in color. The features of their faces were more god-like, not the rough features of the clan.
As the children grew, they seemed to understand things, and know things that were beyond the rest of the clan. They talked with god more readily, and did not fear god as the rest of the clan did. It was easy to see the difference, and easy to see that these children would someday rule the clan. These were children of the god's.
The little boy was drowning. His arms flailed uselessly over his head, and his legs kicked for the surface without effect. He knew that he was drowning, but he could not claw his way to the surface. He looked up through the crystal clear water, and could see the images of other people standing by the side of the pool, but no one was paying any attention to the little boy in the water. His lungs were burning, and the harder he kicked and clawed to reach the surface, the more it seemed that they would burst in his chest. He couldn't swim, and he was going to drown.
The alarm on his cell phone startled Dylan out of his nightmare and he lay in his bed, soaked in his own sweat. He hadn't dreamed about this in a long time. He was a 5-yea
To his 5-year old mind it seemed like hours were passing, but the next thing he knew he was flying (or, at least, it seemed that way) out of the water, and into the arms of his father. Fortunately for Dylan, his father had turned around and looked down, and there he'd been, flailing away in the pool. Reaching down, his father had grabbed his arm and lifted him out. Every once in a while, if he were stressed enough, the nightmare would return, and he would be drowning once again. The damage was done, and Dylan was terrified of being in water that was over his head.
He grimaced at the thought. In over his head, he said to himself. That was exactly how he was feeling, and he was sure that his feelings regarding the coming day had triggered the nightmare. For the past two years he'd been funded by Samuelson Ltd of Japan, and now the CEO was coming all the way from Japan to see what their money had wrought. He was worried. Not about his work, he was confident in what he had accomplished, but about his ability to sell himself. He was a scientist, not an administrator or fund raiser, and he was totally out of his element once he was out of his lab.
“Well, there's no use obsessing about It.”, Dylan told himself, and got out of bed to go take a shower.
Normally his showers were in and out, just enough time to wash his hair and body and shave his face. Today, he luxuriated under the spray until all the hot water was gone in an attempt to relax. He turned off the now cold water, and grabbed a towel, drying himself as he went. He entered his bedroom, and stopping in front of the mirror that hung on the back of the bedroom door, he surveyed his reflection. He was pleased with what he saw revealed there. He stood a full 6 feet 2 inches in his bare feet and weighed in at 221 lbs. of well-toned muscle (mostly), with blue eyes and light brown hair. He had short legs for his height, with only a 30 inch inseam, a 33 inch waistline, arms extending 35 inches, and a long trunk. He wasn't classically handsome, but he wasn't exactly ugly; women found him attractive enough.
Dylan picked out his usual work attire – a clean T-shirt, blue jeans, and comfortable walking shoes. He grabbed his favorite T-shirt, freshly laundered, the one that said Fusion Happens. On the front, the “o” in fusion was the universal symbol for the atom, and there was a large matching one on the back. He pulled the T-shirt over his head, slipped on his jeans, socks and shoes, then walked to the kitchen of his 3 bedroom ranch to begin his morning ritual.
He filled his oversized mug from water run through a charcoal filter, then placed it in the microwave on high power for 2 ½ minutes. One tea bag (the good kind – no generic) was placed gently in the mug and steeped for exactly 5 minutes. The teabag was removed without being squeezed, and a generous measure of honey was added; the perfect cup of tea. Add one bagel, five minutes in his toaster oven so that only the open side browned, spread with butter and cream cheese, and his day was off to the optimum start.
The routine never varied, Monday through Friday. After his morning repast he would put on weather appropriate gear for his 2 ½ mile walk to the lab, arriving there at approximately 10 minutes to 8 each work day. Once there, he would slip on a lab coat and begin his day. He was a physicist, and his area of expertise was cold fusion. More precisely, proving that cold fusion was more than a science fiction story line; creating a working model was his life. Until now, cold fusion had belonged to the realm of science fiction writers and discredited researchers. The papers he'd written had been largely ignored, and his patents dismissed. It had not been easy, but he had done it, believed in himself, and with that belief had come a drive to succeed, to prove the skeptics wrong.
The official line is that cold fusion goes against the know laws of physics, and is not possible. At the current time the US Department of Energy was recommending no additional funding be granted for its research. Only one group had believed in him - Samuelson Ltd. They had provided Dylan with the seed money for his research and with continuing funding, but to take this to the next level, to reproduce his work and make it affordable to everyone, he needed more money, so this meeting today with the top people at that company was vital. Tommie Samuelson, the head of Samuelson Ltd, was coming to visit him. Dylan had never met the man and was made nervous by the prospect, but there was nothing he could do about it.
There was more than one way to get to his office, and this morning he chose his favorite path, the one that would take him alongside the river. His lab was nestled by the Cuyahoga River in the flats in Cleveland, Ohio. Originally, the Flats, an area surrounding the river that bisects the city of Cleveland, had been a shipping powerhouse. As Cleveland developed into a world shipping power, the Flats housed warehouses, shipping companies, and bars for the sailors. By the 1970s, though, they were a deserted area in the shadow of downtown. The river, itself, had become a national joke. It had become heavily polluted, with garbage floating on the surface like leaves on a lawn, and it had actually caught fire in the late 60's. But through the efforts of conservationists and concerned citizens of the city itself the river had been restored. Fish swam in its waters again, and life came back to its banks. The West Bank of the Flats boasted places like the old Powerhouse, a 19th century brick former power station that housed restaurants, clubs, and watering holes – and Dylan's unobtrusive lab. It was tucked away in an old tool and die shop located near the revitalized areas, but where work space could still be found to rent cheaply.
Arriving at his lab at 11 minutes to 8 (He'd made good time.) he entered the locked facility using his key-card. It was a steel framed building covered in brick and refitted to provide a secure working space. Once inside, he walked the few steps to the strange looking console hanging on the far wall and spoke his name into the microphone - “Dylan Teague”. The voice from the machine answered with a mechanical “Proceed”, and Dylan placed his hand over the silhouette outline of a hand on the console. He smiled to himself about all this. It was the latest in security - voice and fingerprint recognition, and had been provided for him by Samuelson Ltd. The people at Samuelson's seemed a little paranoid to him, but it was their money. The large steel door slid back, and he entered his lab.
“Morning doc”, the night guard cheerfully greeted him as he walked by the security desk. “Kind of hot already this morning, and you still walk. I got to hand it to you, I couldn't see myself walking in this heat.”
Eying the bear claw in the guards hand and his ample waist, Dylan agreed silently that he couldn't see the guard walking to work in the heat, either. “Morning, Danny. I see you're still on that protein diet.”
The guard chuckled at the good-natured ribbing, and said, “I plan on living ‘til I'm a hundred, just like my dad. And, just like my dad, I plan on eating pastry every morning for breakfast and drinking beer every night with dinner until the very last day of those hundred years.” Their morning ritual never varied – Danny would express amazement that he walked to work and Dylan would comment about Danny's eating habits. Dylan thought to himself, And Danny will probably outlive me, too.
Dylan smiled at the guard, and continued the short walk down the hallway and into his office. It was unpretentious, just like the occupant. The walls were covered with a few pictures, and some of his possessions sat on wooden shelves he had made and hung on the wall himself. A large compass set in a frame made of oak; two hand sized compasses of brass, and a clock with a brass ships portal for the face cover were the biggest part of his collection. He also had a tin box with a picture of King Kong on the front – a souvenir box that his re-mastered copies
He sat down at his desk and turned on his laptop. First things, first – he checked his Emails. Nothing spectacular there, a couple of sales pitches from different seed companies - he was an ardent gardener and always on the lookout for something new or exotic to try. A few Emails from his friend, Robert – mostly lame jokes. A few from various business concerns and one promising to enhance his love life by making him last forever. He smiled ruefully to himself, No use having lead in your pencil, if you got nobody to write to. He was in between relationships at the moment.
Finally, he glanced at his itinerary for the day. As he sat reviewing his planner his assistant David Sellinger walked into his office with a cheerful, “Hi, Boss.” Dylan smiled as David plunked himself down in the only other chair in the office. “I finished those tests last night, and the readings are exactly as you said, the numbers were almost off the charts.” David was a small, tidy young man, and had been Dylan's assistant for just over 2 years. In contrast to him, David always arrived at work dressed in the latest fashion, and today was no different. The outfit was, to say the least, unusual; a blue chunky sweater with gold horizontal stripes and Comme des Garcon jumper pants. Not that Dylan could tell a pair of Comme des Garcon pants from one of the box store brands, that information had been supplied by David, for if seemed that David had taken as his mission the task of bringing Dylan into the forefront of the fashion world. It wasn't working.
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