Orion’s Arm Needs a Dyson Sphere that could Work

close up photography of person holding crystal ball
Photo by FOX on Pexels.com

Orion’s Arm is a game for physicists and like minded people that my son Josh mentioned to me.  Apparently the game can be won if you can design a Dyson Sphere that could be built with known technologies and theoretically possible materials.  My preliminary proposal to solve this problem is called a “Sellnow Cylinder” Megastructure and it may have several variations depending on how the mathematics works out.

What is a Sellnow Cylinder Megastructure?  Josh mentioned that Isaac Arthur (A futurist on youtube) has come up with a way to dynamically keep a Ringworld type structure from destroying itself.  Larry Niven developed the Ringworld concept in several science fiction books.  Given a functional design for a Ringworld it should be possible to upscale a Ringworld design and make a Sellnow Cylinder.  A Sellnow Cylinder is a space based megastructure with dynamic controls that encloses an entire star with a Cylinder providing living space for humans on parts of the inside similar to a Dyson Sphere or Ringworld.

A Sellnow Cylinder is simply a large ringworld using dynamic controls with the ends of the cylinder capped off.  The internal volume of the cylinder would not have to be entirely empty but could be filled in part to provide physical stability or for other purposes.  Continuous circular ridges could be made similar to mountain ranges to increase livable surface area and to hold air/water in place. Exotic future materials with extraordinary physical properties would make this more feasible but it may be possible to make the Cylinder with known materials provided some type of dynamic controls are applied to stop it from flying apart or crashing into the star while rotating around  a moving galaxy orbiting star.  This concept could provide equal livable surface area to a hypothetical Dyson Sphere design which is desirable in the Orion’s Arm discussions as described to me.

I am a retired Electrical Engineer with cancer and it has been a long time since I have taken an advanced mathematics course in college.  A rigorous mathematical investigation of a conceptual Sellnow Cylinder is beyond my capabilities at this point in my life.  If any qualified person is interested in working out the math for this conceptual idea please contact me and I will give you joint credit with me for this idea.



The day the chip failed.


The new credit/debit chip cards seem to have a high failure rate and they can’t be trusted to work when you need them.  My wife had two fail in the past several months at inopportune moments.

I sent my wife and younger son to the crowded Walmart grocery store by themselves because I was just too tired to go.  My wife bought a large amount of groceries and attempted to pay with the chip card.  Naturally the chip didn’t work and she did not have another method of payment with her at the time.   She next tried the ATM in Walmart using the same chip card to get money to pay for the thawing groceries.  The ATM locked up with an error signal and she could not get her card out.  The electric cart she uses to shop in Walmart also got hooked on the ATM slightly at some point during all the fun times.  Walmart personnel came to the rescue and at least retrieved the offending chip card.  They rolled the cart of packed groceries to customer service to figure out what to do next.

My son drove back to get me while my wife waited with the melting groceries at Walmart.  Fortunately my debit chip card worked and we were able to get the big load of groceries home before any real damage was done.  A little excitement in otherwise humdrum day would be my thoughts.  My wife had an alternate opinion on the days proceedings.  I guess the moral of the story is always have two methods of payment and never trust a chip.


Space needs to pay for itself.


The United States needs less space exploration at the expense of the taxpayer and more space exploitation for profit. Sending humans to Mars is wrong at this time because we should use that same money to establish near earth space infrastructure that can support for profit opportunity in the near future.  Look at the human moon landings as the example of a not for profit enterprise controlled by the government and paid for with taxpayer dollars.  We landed a few humans on the moon in a heroic fashion at great cost and risk.  In return for this great effort we received a short temporary boost in our national pride and a few moon rocks.   We should have established a permanent nuclear powered base on the moon at that time for industry, mining, research and military purposes instead of just collecting a few rocks that are really not that critical.  We should not repeat this same mistake with an expensive human Mars landing as proposed by the current U.S. administration.

Robots can explore Mars and the outer solar system more efficiently and safer than any human can.  Mining our moon and any asteroids we can relocate to near earth orbit has a greater potential for real profit in the near term.  A nuclear powered electromagnetic mass driver built on the moon could send large amounts of processed or raw lunar material  into orbit around the earth.  Space based solar power collection systems could be built with these materials and the resulting power sent to earth based collection systems via microwave transmission.  These solar power systems could eventually eliminate the need for any dangerous nuclear plants or dirty fossil fuels on earth.  Global climate change due to human CO2 emissions from fossil fuels would be unnecessary.  In addition large space based systems could be built that could modify the climate on earth if it is disrupted by nature.

Pride and glory are the primary reasons humans want to put their first footprint on Mars.  The vast bulk of people on earth would not be helped by putting humans on Mars.  Why not let cheap AI controlled robots go explore Mars instead?  No one cares if a robot dies in a slow motion horrible accident.  Why not put more taxpayer dollars into near earth space industry infrastructure that will help the people living on this planet?    Space industry of this type would create many new jobs on earth and improve the immediate quality of life for everyone.  Capitalism in space needs this type of infrastructure to make a profit.




Fake Visitors

Some bloggers actually pay for fake visitors for the purpose of pumping up their site stats. I think this should be made illegal because it is essentially false advertising. High stats make the blog seem more interesting and advertisers are willing to pay more to put an ad on the blog.

I will never pay for fake visitors to this blog. First of all, I don’t have the money so it’s a moot point. Also, I am just not willing to sink that low for the purposes of vanity or financial gain.

Ryobi should add power adapter

Flashlight by Ryobi
Ryobi LED Work Light
Ryobi Compact Drill

Ryobi should add a 120 VAC corded adapter for its 18 VDC cordless tools.  The lifestyle devices such as fans, lights and radios would really benefit from this addition.  I noticed Ryobi does have an awkward adapter for its 18 VDC auger but I it doesn’t appear to be practical for the other tools.

Why waste your battery lifespan on running a fan when you can just plug it in for some applications?  Same with the radio and lighting options.  Those batteries have a limited life span and they are not that cheap.  I know Ryobi wants us to buy more batteries but it would be a logical addition to their brand and put them ahead of other manufacturers.  How about it Ryobi?


Ryobi – My Favorite Flashlight

Flashlight by Ryobi
My favorite flashlight.


Ryobi makes a good work/home flashlight at a reasonable price.  Collecting tools is a minor hobby of mine.  I have some old tools left over from the farm and some from my engineering days of long ago.  I would have had a lot more beautiful old tools from my grandfather Marsh except my parents sold them to a scrap metal dealer while I was at high school for the day.  That was a sad event in my life.

I may not actually use all the old tools I own but this flashlight I use all the time.  It’s part of their 18 volt rechargeable battery system which I like primarily because I can actually afford these tools and they seem to last just about forever.  Ryobi is sold only at Home Depot.

The physical configuration of this flashlight allows it to snap onto a 2 x4 easily which is handy.  The end of the light can be swiveled to aim at your work when you set it down.  The detachable battery allows it to run basically forever on a project.  It is very bright and focused.  I dropped the thing from about 10 feet in the air onto a floor by accident and it actually survived although the battery was dented so I don’t use that battery anymore.  The run time per battery is many hours and depends on the size of battery that you use.  I typically buy the small compact lithium ion batteries because they cost less, weigh less, fit in spaces better and run long enough for any project I will ever do.

Flashlights are simple and common but this one is definitely a cut above the rest in my opinion.  You can see it is designed well when you use it.