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Category Archives: futurism

MY THOUGHTS ON THE NUCLEAR NEGOTIATIONS WITH IRAN (AND WHAT DO THE CENTRIFUGES DO?)

I thought I would try something else this time.  Like many of you, I’ve been following (as best I can) the U.S./Iran “talks” regarding Iran’s ambitions to obtain enriched uranium with the ultimate goal of having either 1) nuclear weapons-grade material or 2) nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants. A small minority of you may think that Iran only wants the material for use in producing electricity by nuclear means. I disagree. But let’s first look at one of the key issues in the negotiations; centrifuges.

DAY ONE. I was listening to yet another news segment about the U.S./Iran negotiations and I thought “What the hell are the damn centrifuges used for, why are so many needed and how many does Iran want?” How does a centrifuge “enrich” uranium? How rich does it have to be? How long does it take? How many ‘fuges can a centrifuge ‘fuge? I really wanted to know. My engineering background demanded it. (If you already know, you don’t have to read any further.)

MY STARTING POINT. I turned to a long-time friend who studied nuclear engineering (at West Point as I recall) and who later was a tank battalion commander in Vietnam. He provided me with valuable introductory information and directed me to a few websites. Thanks, Steve.

Now I don’t want to overwhelm anybody with highly technical information. Stick with me, though, and maybe we’ll all better understand what’s being talked about and feel better (or worse) about the future. I don’t want any scientists criticizing me about over simplification or errors. Any errors, like authors like to point out, are mine and mine alone. I have obtained information from a few sources, which I will list at the end. I encourage you to check them out.

GETTING URANIUM FROM THE GROUND. Uranium (U) is a common element found all over the world that emits only a very tiny level of natural radioactivity. Uranium is extracted from thousands of tons of ore. Uranium ore is then processed (separating uranium from the dirt and rocks) to create uranium oxide, which can be “enriched”. This oxide stuff is called “yellowcake”. Uranium needs to be “enriched”, otherwise it just doesn’t do anything for us. Let’s find out what enrichment is. But, first we need to understand what uranium is made up of.

uranium oxide or yellowcake

uranium oxide or yellowcake

open pit uranium mine in Namibia

open pit uranium mine in Namibia

URANIUM ISOTOPES. Uranium found in nature consists almost entirely of two parts (isotopes). These two isotopes, U-235 and U-238, are thoroughly mixed or bound up together in natural uranium. Natural uranium has about 1% U-235 and 99% U-238. I won’t discuss the U-238 isotope which has its uses but doesn’t concern us here.

The thing to understand here is that uranium, when extracted out of ore, is comprised of only a very tiny, tiny bit of important U-235 and a lot of undesirable U-238.

SO WHAT IS ENRICHMENT?. The biggest problem in creating nuclear reactor fuel or a nuclear weapon is to separate out as much U-238 as you can, leaving yourself with uranium that has a sufficiently higher concentration of U-235 to go boom. This is enrichment. Even though uranium-235 and U-238 isotopes are chemically identical, they have a very, very slight difference in mass. This difference in mass makes it possible to increase or “enrich” the percentage of U-235 in the uranium that was pulled out of the ground. The enrichment process makes use of this small mass difference. Enrichment actually means that the U-238 is separated out, concentrating or enriching the uranium. It’s not easy. This is where centrifuges come in.

CENTRIFUGES-WHAT DO THEY DO?. Remember, we want to increase the ratio of the U-235 isotope to U-238. The uranium is made into a gaseous form using a powerful acid. The gaseous form is called uranium hexafluoride, is easier to work with, and is inserted into a centrifuge. Actually, a lot of centrifuges are “chained” together in cascades. The spinning centrifuge causes the slightly heavier U-238 (dark circles) to go toward the outside walls of the centrifuge while the (slightly) lighter U-235 tends to stay in the center of the centrifuge tube. The uranium material, in gaseous form, is then extracted from the center of the centrifuge and sent to the next centrifuge.

levels of uranium enrichment

levels of uranium enrichment

It has slightly more U-235 than it did before. Let’s understand that the centrifuge process is not very efficient.

After the uranium is a tiny bit enriched in one centrifuge, this slightly concentrated uranium is extracted and put into another centrifuge. Each centrifuge passes a slightly more concentrated product to the next centrifuge and returns a slightly less concentrated residue to the previous stage.

It has slightly more U-235 than it did before.  Let’s understand that the centrifuge process is not very efficient.

Inside a centrifuge

The output of this second centrifuge is put into yet another centrifuge and so on, until it’s eventually put back into the first centrifuge to start over. The centrifuges are a technological challenge. They’re highly machined and spin in the range of 100,000 revolutions per minute (rpm). Until recently, the technology for these devices has been out of reach of most countries. There are better centrifuges and more efficient technologies being developed and tested. Iran wants these devices as well.

WHY DOES IRAN NEED SO MANY CENTRIFUGES? The answer is because each centrifuge is very inefficient. Each one gets rid of a very tiny bit of U-238.  Simplifying, the concentration of the U-235 component is only improved by a gram or so by each centrifuge. Uranium needs lots of trips through lots of centrifuges. Remember, the uranium we started with consisted of less than 1% U-235. Since each centrifuge enriches such a tiny amount, this process of spinning and repeating can take a very long time to enrich the uranium to a 5% level of U-235 needed in a nuclear power plant.  You need a long time and a lot of centrifuges or both.

That’s one reason why Iran now has 20,000 centrifuges, is working to get 50,000 and ideally needs 200,000.  In a minute, I’ll explain why negotiating with Iran to limit them to 5000 centrifuges is more dangerous to the world than 20,000 or more centrifuges. In addition, if Iran does succeed in building a nuclear power plant, the byproduct of the plant is plutonium (Pu239) which is extremely dangerous and can also be used to make nuclear weapons. 

centrifuges

centrifuges

OPTIONAL NOTE: Production of energy in nuclear reactors (or nuclear weapons) comes from the ‘fission’ or splitting of U-235 atoms, a process which releases energy in the form of heat. This heat is used to make steam which drives electrical generators. This fission reaction is the basis of operation for most of the world’s current nuclear power stations and is the reason why uranium is such a valuable mineral resource. Uranium enrichment is a sensitive technology that is (supposed to be) subject to tight international control.

As I said earlier, it turns out that spent fuel rods from nuclear power plant reactors contain a byproduct. This byproduct is plutonium or Pu-239. This material must also be protected from exploitation, because Pu-239 is also fissible and can be used for making nuclear weapons.

It is known that 25 kilograms (about 55 pounds) of 90% enriched U-235 is needed to make a nuclear weapon. Starting with less than a gram or so of enriched U-235, it takes a long time and a lot of centrifuges to produce 55 pounds of the stuff. Basic arithmetic from what I have read says that 5000 centrifuges running for 12 months will produce the 25 kilograms needed for a bomb.

HERE IT IS: THE IRONY OF URANIUM ENRICHMENT. Uranium only needs to be enriched to 5% to be useful for nuclear power generation but 90% enrichment is needed for a nuclear weapon. Now most everyone would naturally think that going from 5% to 90% enrichment would take a heck of a lot of additional time (85%) or way more centrifuges. The physics of the enrichment process, however, tells us that obtaining 5% enrichment requires most of the work (almost 70%) and getting to 90% takes only a little bit more work (about 30%). The long term agreement with Iran would limit the numbers (and kinds) of centrifuges Iran can use to enrich uranium. The reality is that the potential Iran nuclear agreement would limit Iran to the number of centrifuges needed for a weapon but far too few for a nuclear power program! You need tens of tons of material to fuel a nuclear power plant for a year but only 25 kilograms to make a bomb.

You can fact-check everything I just said, anytime you want. The bottom line is that with only 5000 centrifuges available, Iran can make a bomb in about a year. Assuming an Iranian nuclear power plant would require 25 tons of enriched uranium every year, with these same 5000 centrifuges, it would take Iran over 600 years to make enough fuel to run a nuclear power plant for one year!!! Right now, this is why Iran has only one nuclear power plant and Russia is selling them all the fuel for this plant.

WHAT SHOULD WE (THE UNITED STATES?) DO? Using (a lot of) input from my colleague and tweaking it a bit, here are some possibilities:

Possibility 1:    Keeping and toughening the current sanctions.  Add more sanctions. Everything that Iran has accomplished so far has been done in spite of sanctions that are already in place. Russia built Iran a reactor with the sanctions in place and has agreed to build more.  So if we continue the sanctions, we end up trusting, with no ability to verify, that our buddies, the Russians, won’t let Iran be involved with extracting Pu239 from the reactors’ spent fuel rods.  So having Russia also agreeing to the “deal”, (including verifications of reactor use and fuel rod disposition) makes it a much more powerful agreement.

Possibility 2: Bombing:  This is probably not as effective as it sounds. Iran’s underground nuke sites are too dispersed and deep to guarantee their complete elimination through bombing, so all bombing would accomplish is to slow the Iranians down, which is what the “deal” will accomplish in its worst case.  The difference is that bombing will really piss the Iranians off and make them more determined to ultimately succeed.  If we destroy the Russian-built “peaceful”’ reactor in the bombing, we may risk a nuclear show-down with Russia, which would make the problem with Iran look minor.

Conclusion: The “deal” being negotiated will just slow Iran down, which is all that either of the other options would accomplish.  The deal won’t stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. It’s going to happen. The only trick in our bag is in the verification of 1) Iran shutting down some or all of their centrifuges and 2) giving up the depleted reactor fuel rods containing plutonium (Pu-239), if they get that far.   If you’re not scared by now, you have to realize that a smaller amount of plutonium than our old friend enriched U-235 is needed to make a weapon.

We have to hope that international inspection agencies will ensure the Iranians comply with the terms of the agreement and immediately report if they are cheating. No payoffs to inspectors, no payoffs to agencies, no Russian inspectors, no Iranian inspectors, no Iraqi inspectors. No inspectors held hostage. No family members held hostage. Guaranteed 100% open access to every facility in the country, including military sites. VERIFICATION, VERIFICATION, VERIFICATION, VERIFICATION, NO TRUST.

A FINAL COMMENT. I hope the U.S. negotiating team has some recognized nuclear engineers and scientists and isn’t comprised only of politicians, celebrities, party donors, hangers-on, legacy-seekers, hairdressers, makeup artists and wannabes. Actually, I don’t want anyone on the team who is using these negotiations to enhance their own resumes or help them ascend to higher status. Please just concentrate on keeping the world safe for a little bit longer. Hey, we have North Korea.  It appears we can’t really negotiate successfully with Iran.  How are we going to negotiate with North Korea?

References:

  1. Michael Morell – The odd reality of Iran’s centrifuges: Enough for a bomb, not power. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/

(For Michael Morell’s article, go to politifact.com, select Truth-O-Meter TM and then search for “uranium centrifuges”. Scroll down to February 25, 2015 for the article.)

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enriched_uranium
  1. Steve May – Former nuclear engineering student, tank battalion commander, master marketing manager and delightful international traveling companion.
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Something a Little Different

My blog usually centers on birds and our little adventures as Arlyne and I travel as volunteers to different Refuges and Parks. The blog will continue to do so, most of the time. We do, however, have some “down” time of course, which we use to do things we like, including cooking, baking, beading, local birdwatching, practicing my guitar, seeing local sights and coming up with stuff to write about. Sometimes I hit on something that makes my test subject (Arlyne) laugh. I like that.  Check out the next section.

New Prescription Drugs.  I was watching TV the other day when a commercial for a new prescription drug was droning on about the wonders of their product. The name of the drug was Farxiga (scientific name: dapagliflozin). This drug is used to treat diabetes. It got me thinking. Farxiga is pronounced “far-see-gah”. So I thought that maybe this drug could also treat nearsightedness. This inspired me, so over a couple of days, with help from my brother Rich (a wordsmith) and his wife Linda (a wordsmith with a science background), I came up with some new prescription drug names, what they would be used for and possibly some new syndromes or conditions. If drug companies can do this……..so can I.  Here they are.  What do you think?

Debilitol – counteracts the effects of too much testosterone

Packotrexate – relieves severe constipation

Benextium – feel better while waiting in long lines

Dechorocon – rids you of that embarrassing greenish skin condition

Codify –soothes the effects of too much mercury from eating fish

Fracticillin – loosens up stiff, achy joints

Equilibricillin – for ear-related dizziness

Amplify – assists with hard of hearing

Conundrium – a drug in search of a disease

Lovelostatin – slows down the progression of heart disease

Depropogate – helps with low sperm count

Embowellicillin – a powerful new laxative

Damitol – good for almost everything

Metroprolol – used by the sharpest traffic reporters

Dousematchifen – relieves inflammatory bowel disease

Calmpoopamine – de-irritates irritable bowels

Hope you find a favorite. This kind of mental exercise helps us to resist the effects of aging……..…doesn’t it?

Environmental Education. Arlyne and I helped put on an Environmental Education presentation about birds a little while ago at an elementary school. Today, we helped with another presentation about butterflies. Another couple did most of the hard work, with a PowerPoint show for 2nd grade and 5th grade kids but we enjoyed the experience. Today, the 5th grade class released a Viceroy butterfly that had just come out of its chrysalis in a container that the class had been watching for a few weeks. The little butterfly flew way up in the sky and appeared to be heading north, which is what it needs to do.

Odds and Ends. Our neighbor volunteers, Steve and Laura, buy green coffee beans from some fairly exotic locations, roast them in a little specialized roaster, grind the beans, use a French Press and usually drink some of the resultant coffee that same day. Steve just gave us some fresh ground coffee from Oaxaca (Mexico). We’ll try the coffee tomorrow morning.

Arlyne and I borrowed a Government van and went with another volunteer couple to Falcon Dam/Falcon Lake in Roma, about 80 miles east of Santa Ana. Ostensibly, we were checking on another volunteer couple to see if they needed anything. We did that and then went birding the rest of the day. The other couple saw a life bird (red-billed pigeon) and helped us spot other birds. We had a nice list for the day, including a few scissor-tailed flycatchers, which are just starting to arrive in Texas. The overcast days we’ve been experiencing for nearly a month are getting to be a bore. Photos just don’t jump out like they should.

Local Law Enforcement. I talked with a Texas State Trooper at the fee booth the other day. He told me he lived 500 miles to the north but had been assigned to the border. He had already been down here for three weeks, living in a hotel. He said they catch somebody with 200-400 pounds of illegal substances every single day. He looked tired and said he just wanted to go home and see his kids. He also said they needed 250 more guys along the border. People in the northern states (and probably California) really don’t hear about what’s going on down here. I really can’t go into any more detail about the stuff we hear about but I told the Fish and Game guys here that they live in a circus.

Beautiful Things.  I’ve included pictures here of beautiful things that we’ve seen over the last few years.

solitary-blog bambi pair DSC_0186-blog DSC_0057-blog DSC_0088-crop love the coast of the Pacific-blog

 

Wonder Wart Hog

Wonder War Hog – beautiful, isn’t he?

 

 

 

Historical Documents (see below). My brother, Rich, uncovered some marvelous old photos that I really like and maybe you will too. We were all young once. As I look at these photos, I find the strength to resist aging, because lately it seems I’ve been taking too much debilitol.

See you around, The Drapers, Bob and Arlyne

 

Three guys doing stuff together....

Three guys doing stuff together….Bob, David and Charlie the dog

A nice young couple

A nice young couple

Bob and Arlyne

Bob and Arlyne

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2015 in futurism, Nature, RV living

 

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A Collection of News, Thoughts and Birds

A Collection of News, Thoughts and Birds

The Good News. We’re finally back at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Alamo, Texas. Here in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, you don’t stop and smell the roses, you stop and smell the broccoli (and later the onions).

We won’t soon forget Bosque del Apache. It’s a beautiful, fascinating place. From late October to February, sandhill cranes, snow geese and other birds come to Bosque , many to spend the winter there. We took many of our favorite photos at Bosque and were lucky enough that the Refuge included three of our photos in their 2015 Habitat magazine that is given to visitors. How fun is that? Here are a few pics that we submitted that weren’t selected but are some of our favorites.

DSC_0055 American avocets in flight-blog avocet and reflection-2-blog Beautiful Great Blue Heron DSC_0066-blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

sandhill cranes

sandhill cranes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Santa Ana.  If you remember, we spent part of last year as volunteers here at Santa Ana, having an exciting time. Some things have changed here and some things will never change. One change we’ve already noticed: There is a major increase in State Police and Highway Patrol in our area. The locals tell us that illegal immigration is down about 80% as a result. We see more Border Patrol too. We’ve heard that former Governor Perry negotiated a grant from the Government to pay for the extra people. Another change is at the Santa Ana Visitor Center. There are new displays, new procedures, new volunteers and new Fish and Wildlife personnel all over the place. We’ll be fine here.

The Bad News. What hasn’t changed is life (and death) below the border. The day after we arrived, I picked up a Spanish language newspaper with the headline: Van ya 30 muertos. In English: “Up to now 30 dead.” This all happened in the last few of days in the Matamoros area, just across the border from Brownsville. The article, translated for me by Arlyne, says (paraphrased): There has been an escalation in violence in Matamoros. The body count reflects only the bodies that are found because many are carried away by the gangs. Area roads and some universities were closed and the U.S. Consulate cancelled its activities because of grenades thrown into a (nearby) municipal building. The toll road between Reynosa and Matamoros was closed because the fee booth was riddled with bullets. The newspaper also said: The toll road is now a free road.

Arlyne and I are located about 45 miles east of Brownsville as the bullet flies, so I hope we’re safe for the time being.

Other News. In spite of these activities in Mexico, Santa Ana feels like a refuge for us too, getting us away from of the problems we experienced in California and later on our trip to Texas. The California problems were significant but nothing we couldn’t handle. It’s just money, I guess. We spent more than two months fixing up our former home (now rental property) in Escondido. New microwave, new hot water heater, new gas cooktop, electrical repairs, tile work, furnace repair, window repairs, hauling away junk left by the previous tenants, etc. We camped out in the empty house most of the time, sleeping on deflatable beds. Yes, we had our own version of deflategate when we woke up one morning on a nearly flat bed. It seems as if we had to fix or clean something every day. We’re fortunate we managed to find new tenants who signed a two-year lease. Not to mention that our motorhome was in the shop for nearly two months as well.

The Other Bad News. We were only 75 miles from our destination at Santa Ana, driving comfortably, when we heard a loud, sharp WHACK! We had a massive blowout on a rear motorhome tire. Scared the hell out of us. We were lucky that Good Sam roadside assistance called a local company that replaced the tire with our spare. The culprit tire actually blew up (shredded and violently came apart) and blew a softball-sized hole right under our shower. Talking to other volunteers, we’ve found that nearly everyone has had a similar experience.

The Good News. Whoa! It turns out there is a recall on our Michelin tires and we’re going to get six new tires at no cost. The recall notice states that the tires in question could lead to a “loss of tread, and in some cases rapid air loss, risking a loss of vehicle control.” (I love the attorney-drafted phrase “rapid air loss.”) Well, we’re now poster-kids for this recall. Six new tires would normally cost $2500.

Now that's a blowout!

Now that’s a blowout!

Rescued in Texas

Rescued in Texas

Draper On Aging. I promised a few people that I would write some words about aging, which Arlyne and I are doing every day. This is only for entertainment value, I suppose. Two things to start with: First, I find that as we age, everything dries up except watery eyes and drooling and, if you’re lucky, post-nasal drip (which is good because if you’re sick, you’re not dead). Second, we have to resist signs of aging whenever we can. When I took a short SouthWest flight to visit my brother Rich, I was putting my carry-on in the overhead compartment and a middle-aged passenger standing next to me said “Let me help you with that.” I almost said “get the hell away from me” but then just said “Thanks, I got it.”

As I get older, I sometimes have what I call “extreme short-term” memory loss. I put some water in a cup, for example, reach over to turn the faucet off, move my hand back and knock over the cup. Is it possible to forget something I did just 2 seconds before? Yes. Arlyne and I are systematically developing strategies for remembering where we parked the car, where we put our phones, her purse, my glasses, all our battery chargers……well you get the idea. We’re not immune.

As we get older, it seems we’ve lived long enough to see a number of U.S. presidents rehabilitated (or nearly so), having been very unpopular during their term of office. Harry Truman is one of them. He was not glamorous but he’s considered a great president now. LBJ is one of them. He is beginning to be rehabilitated. He faked a war record by taking a flight in a military aircraft early in his career. Of the dozens of Great Society programs he instituted, the only one still around is Head Start. All the others have long since been abandoned as useless and wasteful. He did sign important civil rights legislation, but remember, he just signed the legislation, he didn’t work hard to craft it, negotiate with Congress and the Senate, fight over amendments, etc. He simply held the pen and signed it. That’s good but not great.

We older people really do have a great advantage in remembering bits and pieces of history, good and bad. Most of us have talked to people who witnessed history that occurred even before we were born. My father, for example, was already an adult in 1929 Los Angeles when Wyatt Earp died (in Los Angeles). I talked to him about that. I remember listening to the radio when it was announced that the Korean Police Action (war) started. I remember hearing (on the radio again) that Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first humans to reach the top of Mt. Everest. An interesting sidebar to this: when Arlyne and I were working in New Zealand in 2003, Sir Hillary was still living there and still in the phone book. (2nd Sidebar: Hillary Clinton says she was named after Edmund Hillary. Well, she was born and presumably named in 1947, six years before Edmund Hillary climbed Mt. Everest in 1953. What do you know about that?)

Things I’ve seen…….a real life lion tamer (with bandages), a complete live radio show on stage (Buster Brown), the WWII Lockheed flying wing (flying), the Howard Hughes Spruce Goose, a field of dozens of surplus B-24 rear gun blisters, John Wayne movies before he was a cowboy, Elizabeth Taylor movies before she was a teenager, a WWI (yes, one) veteran who had been hit with mustard gas and an Army scout that guided General Crook and met with Geronimo before the legend was finally captured.

Things Arlyne has seen…….an active German submarine that was sunk off Puntarenas, Costa Rica when she was living there, her dad and his friends gathered around the radio listening to a Joe Louis boxing match, memories of enjoying working ox cart rides with her brothers and sisters at her grandfather’s remote Costa Rica farm.

Also, after 48 years of marriage, I find I have X-ray eyes. I look at Arlyne and I see the young woman inside, still there, still beautiful. Only I can see this. It’s Valentine’s Day every day. I’m living the dream. Getting older isn’t all bad.

“My” Thoughts onThe Future. Now here’s a different subject in my blog. Do you remember “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells? It was published in 1895 and there have been two movies based on the book. Perhaps we should all read it again because Mr. Wells actually made some profound predictions. I’m struck by similarities between what Wells wrote and today’s world. I will use some of his nomenclature. Again, this is for entertainment value, I suppose.

When Well’s main character visited the distant future, he found that the world had two kinds of people: the eloi and the morlocks. The eloi lived above ground, didn’t work, had fun and danced all day. They had no responsibilities and were generally small and weak. The morlocks were strong and misshapen, lived underground, did all the work and operated the machines that allowed the eloi to live in comfort and pleasure. Once in a while, the morlocks would come to the surface and “take” some of the eloi, in effect a barter system.

I already see our world beginning to separate into these two categories. By virtue of normal human nature, assisted and encouraged by the direction and intervention of governments, it seems many people are evolving into an eloi class. Using the labor of the morlock class to supply their needs, eloi are provided for in increasing ways, easing their way through life. I understand that it’s very early in this process, but there are many people worldwide today who don’t want to work, are unable to work, can’t find any work, don’t have to work (perhaps rich) or aren’t necessary anymore due to technological and societal changes. In the moderately distant future, these people will increasingly be supported by benevolent governments or find increasingly simple employment with governments themselves. The very rich (this is the future remember) will fade away because their assets will increasingly be taken by desperate governments, until governments themselves (and elections and politicians) are no longer needed.

Another segment of society, the morlocks, will develop to operate machines, grow food, generate and distribute energy and control transportation and other “industries”. There will be fewer morlocks than eloi because of highly advanced technology that will allow morlocks to provide for both themselves and eloi. Perhaps there will be a very small intellectual class but I will lump them in with the eloi. There will be no middle class at all, as there will be no purpose. I think, initially, the eloi class will consist not only of the very (idle) rich and those who are supported entirely by governments, but athletes, entertainers, artists and others who produce no food, materials or goods. I’m not saying artists and entertainers are not valuable today. But, they will increasingly become part of the eloi class and be supported entirely by others.

I’m not saying I know more than anybody else but you may ask “What about doctors and nurses, for example?” Where do they belong? Because of advances in technology, robotics, artificial intelligence and a vastly increased understanding of the human body, this segment of the population will most likely fade away. What about criminals? I think this segment will also fade away, since all their needs will be taken care of or eventually they may gravitate to the morlock side and be subsumed.

I’m trying to be realistic, not pessimistic. H.G. Wells was way ahead of us and my thinking of course relies on his ideas. His vision included society (and the earth) deteriorating until both were gone. It is very scary and may not happen, of course. He saw this as millions of years in the future. Clearly we’ll never see it, but perhaps we are witnessing very, very early movement. I hope humans eventually escape from earth and try to improve the future of humanity. What do you think about this idea of the future?

“Our Birdies”. I can’t post a blog without a few wildlife pictures. As we left our assignment at Bosque del Apache in New Mexico, we submitted several photographs to the Refuge, for possible inclusion in the 2015 issue of Habitat, the brochure given to all visitors. Three of our photos were included in the brochure……very exciting for us! A deer, a hiker and Arlyne’s sora (a small water bird). Here are a few more of the photos we took in our last few weeks at Bosque.  Next blog I’ll include the Habitat photos.

munching leaves

munching leaves

killdeer gymnastics-blog

Northern harrier on the hunt

Northern harrier on the hunt

here we come-blogHope you enjoy this issue.  A few new wrinkles……

Bob and Arlyne Draper

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Bird Lover, futurism, Nature, RV living

 

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