Thorium car? Fill up on this…

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Yeah….not only is it cool to look at, but how would you like to ‘fill up’ only once…….in 100 years?

First let’s define thorium:   a grayish-white, lustrous, somewhat ductile and malleable, radioactive metallic element present in monazite: used as a source of nuclear energy, as a coating on sun-lamp and vacuum-tube filament coatings, and in alloys. Symbol:  Th; atomic weight:  232.038; atomic number:  90; specific gravity:  11.7. (source: dictionary.com)

So basically it’s a radioactive metallic chemical element. 

Ok, so Laser Power Systems (LPS) from Connecticut,  has been developing a new method of automotive propulsion with one of the most dense materials known in nature: thorium. Because thorium is so dense it has the potential to produce tremendous amounts of heat. The company has been experimenting with small bits of thorium, creating a laser that heats water, produces steam and powers a mini turbine.

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The engine currently weighs 500lbs, which can easily fit inside the engine area of their current model.  Only one gram of the substance yields more energy than 7,396 gallons (28,000 L) of gasoline and 8 grams would power the typical car for a century!!

So, is thorium the way to go?  Well, it’s cheap, abundant and could provide safe, emissions-free power for hundreds of years….however, only “Eight kilograms of uranium-233 can be used for a nuclear weapon,” says Stephen Ashley of the University of Cambridge.  The bigger threat is that a country pursuing nuclear energy and nuclear weapons (say, Iran) could make both from thorium. “This technology could have a dual civilian and military use,” Ashley says. (source:  Popular Mechanics)
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(The primary source of the world’s thorium is the rare-earth-and-thorium-phosphate mineral monazite. Rob Lavinsky/iRocks.com)

ONE MORE THING: (And yes, just in case you were wondering, the element thorium really is named after Thor, the Norse god of thunder. And yes, Norse mythology originated from Norway, where Thor Energy is based. Coincidence, I think not!) source:  Sebastian Anthony

READ MORE HERE:  http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/160131-thorium-nuclear-reactor-trial-begins-could-provide-cleaner-safer-almost-waste-free-energy

AND MORE HERE: Is the “Superfuel” Thorium Riskier Than We Thought? – Popular Mechanics 

the flag that doesn’t fly…

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Vandenberg AFB, located in Lompac, California.  Between the fields where the flag is planted, there are 9+ miles of flower fields that go all the way to the ocean. 

It is 740 feet long and 390 feet wide and actually maintains the proper flag dimensions as stated in

Executive Order #10834This gorgeous flag is 6.5 acres  with each stripe being 30 feet wide and each pointy star 24 feet in diameter!  Containing over 400,000 larkspur plants, with 4-5 stems each, for a total of more than 2 million flowers.

A beautiful tribute to our nation and to our soldiers everywhere.

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love Rocky Point? need a job?

Hey, beach go-ers!  Most of us Arizonan‘s know all about Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco, Mexico) enjoying the surf and the sand.  But how about a job?  Know español or ingles?

Here’s the scoop:  You need a high school education and an engineering degree or a professional technical degree to get your zapato in the door…  Check out this Press Release that just hit the streets!

City Press Release. July 19, 2012

Through the investment of 100 million dollars and the creation of at least 400 jobs, over the next three years, the Aeromk II company – which builds jet planes for aerial combat training – is setting up shop in Puerto Peñasco, announced Mayor Alejandro Zepeda Munro. The Mayor mentioned there would be 67 million dollars within the first phase, and the hiring of 150 people to begin operations within the facilities of the “Sea of Cortez” International Airport.

“We see how in Sonora there is a push for the aerospace industry and in Peñasco we have been able to ensure the installation of this plant in our city, which as the City Government we, along with the Mayan Group, have provided all pathways to bring about the project,” explained Zepeda.

He highlighted this will be the only plant in Mexico since 1968 to build a plane as well as be the only Aerial Training Center in our country, which will be reflected in the level of skilled labor required. He mentioned that hiring has already begun, with a highschool degree as the minimum requirement, along with professional technical or engineering degrees related with metal-mechanics; in addition, a basic level of English is also needed. The lowest salaries will begin at 4 times the minimum wage.

It is believed the plant will take up 60,000 square meters and will be located at the airport, where applications and interviews are already being accepted and held. The Mayor expressed the Plant project is also being considered for a reality show with the History Channel, with respect to activities done as part of the Training Center. He also stated the coming arrival of other companies to serve as suppliers for Aeromk II, including Garmin and General Electric.

So wipe off that sunscreen and shake off the sand!  Let’s get a job!!

And……as always…….you’re welcome!

worth a thousand words…

You’ve heard the expression, right?  A picture is worth a thousand words

These are pictures from around the web.   I wish I knew each photographer’s name, because some of them are so powerful that I got a little choked up and would love to see more.  Look and listen with your heart to each story told…

the REAL story behind Taps…

There is a myth about the origin of Taps that is circulating about the Internet. You can find it anywhere online…(I’m not going to repeat the myth, but feel free to CLICK HERE)

However the true story is that in July 1862, after the Seven Days battles at Harrison’s Landing (near Richmond), Virginia, the wounded Commander of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, General Daniel Butterfield reworked, with his bugler Oliver Wilcox Norton, another bugle call, “Scott Tattoo,” to create Taps. He thought that the regular call for Lights Out was too formal. Taps was adopted throughout the Army of the Potomac and finally confirmed by orders. Soon other Union units began using Taps, and even a few Confederate units began using it as well. After the war, Taps became an official bugle call. Col. James A. Moss, in his Officer’s Manual first published in 1911, gives an account of the initial use of Taps at a military funeral:

“During the Peninsular Campaign in 1862, a soldier of Tidball’s Battery A of the 2nd Artillery was buried at a time when the battery occupied an advanced position concealed in the woods. It was unsafe to fire the customary three volleys over the grave, on account of the proximity of the enemy, and it occurred to Capt. Tidball that the sounding of Taps would be the most appropriate ceremony that could be substituted.”

More about the true history of Taps can be found at: 24 Notes That Tap Deep Emotions and at Military District of Washington Fact Sheet: Origins of “Taps”.

Words to Taps (Note: there are no “official” words to Taps below are the most popular.)


Day is done, gone the sun, From the hills, from the lake, From the skies. All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Go to sleep, peaceful sleep, May the soldier or sailor, God keep. On the land or the deep, Safe in sleep.

Love, good night, Must thou go, When the day, And the night Need thee so? All is well. Speedeth all To their rest.

Fades the light; And afar Goeth day, And the stars Shineth bright, Fare thee well; Day has gone, Night is on.

Thanks and praise, For our days, ‘Neath the sun, Neath the stars, ‘Neath the sky, As we go, This we know, God is nigh.