Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps, Northwest D.C.:

Decatur park

22nd Street, South from Decatur Park:

Decatur park

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Spanish Steps

  1. Bayesian Bouffant, FCD says:

    Impostor. The real Spanish Steps are in Rome.

  2. sglover says:

    I’ve been on the Potemkin Steps, in Odessa, but about an hour later I left my camera in a train station, so no proof….

    On an unrelated note, a few months ago you had a link to a Lockheed Martin press release about some fusion “breakthrough”. I imagine you’ve noticed that today Lockheed’s come out with another announcement, and it’s got more attention. (At least, Reuters and the Guardian mention it near the top of their web editions.) Among other things, the corporation was (and still is) claiming that they’ll be able to fit 100 MW reactors in shipping containers. They also claim that they’ll have a working demonstration in a year. Remarkable! Really world-changing stuff…

    If memory serves, you were asking physicists if this was a real thing. I’m no physicist, but I can’t help but notice that:

    1) There’s nothing about an actual working trial for the “breakthrough”. Nothing about achieving break-even, nothing about even running the thing. The “breakthrough” seems to be a design that’s smaller and supposedly plausible and exists on paper.

    2) The press release includes an invitation from Lockheed for investment partners to develop whatever it is they’ve got. It seems to me that if Lockheed really was on the cusp of making clean, truckable city-scale powerplants burning inexhaustible fuel, they’d kinda want to keep that to themselves. It’s not like they really have to scrounge for nickles, yes?

    if they really can build a working prototype in only a year, why not wait until then, and **really** blow people away? If Lockheed’s insinuations are true, it would rank with — ahead of! — the steam engine, radio, aviation, the transistor. A year is no time at all, especially since it’s not likely that some guy is going to cook up a working fusion reactor in his garage.

    I read a comment on the Guardian that might be cynical, but unfortunately. sounds all too plausible: Lockheed is dabbling in puffery to attract more of that sweet, delicious Pentagon money. (Notice how they emphasize how nice their compact design is for warships?) At least that explanation squares with — well, pretty much everything Lockheed IS. Otherwise, there’s a lot of strangeness to their announcement.

Comments are closed.