Sunday, May 13, 2012

Last Comet post for a while maybe

One last thing that I wanted to say about comets that may be interesting but uncontrovercial, was about the potential usage of the "atmosphere" of the comet for cometary bases. By this I do not mean the corona, but by sealing off one of the "jets" partially or completely and having a robot within the higher pressure gas chamber thus formed, the volatile cases and solids, including water, HCN and organics, could be used to generate fuel for a space base, and the atmospheric pressure inside may reduce the need for exceedingly bulky spacesuits for human visitors, although the poisonous nature of the HCN may be problematic.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Shoah

Which is the preferred Jewish term for the holocaust, has been in my mind since "The boy in striped pijamas" has been a study material in my daughter's grade Eight English. My initial thought was that it was based on a true story of a very naive 9 year old son of a German wartime camp commandant befriending a Jewish boy, eventually both meeting a horrible fate. I saw but a few scenes of the movie when it was being watched at home, but it haunted me all the same, preventing me from a good night's sleep. This did not get better until I read some reviews of the book and movie, realizing that it was actually a plausible but possibly very unlikely fictional scenario- being a clever allegory to the naivety of the German populace to the existence of extermination camps.

I have since realized that I have never truly studied the holocaust at all, relying on what other people tell me, and whatever I learned at school on studying Anne Frank's diary. In particular, the demographic effects make a lot of sense to me now. The Jewish peoples were, pre Shoah, renowned for their reliance on diplomacy and negotiation skills to get them by. By the mere fact that the only remaining European Jews were paranoid, hawkish and primary victims of WWII atrocities, directly or indirectly. This goes some way to explaining the perceived paranoia, hawkishness and victim mentality of Israel. I don't want this to be perceived as a justification for anything immoral the Israeli forces may or may not do for whatever provocation, but a realization that it is a natural demographic consequence in general terms.