THE CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE, as far as we're concerned. We may never find another world as amazing as our Planet Earth, and we will most definitely not find a more beautiful place. The womb of mankind and of man unkind is Mother Earth, the planet that makes most of it's intelligent inhabitants believe that everything will work out in the end. Most people who have lived have never seen this perspective; we have finally left the womb to look at our mother. Now, if we can only stop acting like children.
Welcome to my web site. I would like to describe one underlying theme to this site by asking a simple question, and answering it:
How powerful is a nuclear bomb?
The answer in short is 'very, very, very powerful!'. I was trying to put in perspective just how powerful the most famous nuclear bomb in history actually was. I thought it would be interesting to compare the energy released by the Hiroshima bomb to other forms of energy we consume in our daily lives. Just how would this bomb compare to our energy use in today's terms? The answer truly astounded me. Follow me through the calculations I performed.
First of all, in a nuclear bomb, matter is converted into energy. According to Albert Einstein, this conversion is governed by a simple mathematical equation, E=mc2. From online research, I found that the energy released from this explosion was roughly equivalent to 15 kilotons of TNT. This means nothing to me, either does 63 TeraJoules. But 63 TJ is 63 x 1012 joules. Now I can try to compare the energy to the mass that was converted to energy in more comparable terms.
So as Al predicts, E=mc2. Energy in Joules equals the mass in kilograms times the square of the speed of light in meters per second. By rearranging this formula, I find that 63 TJ divided by 299,792,458 m/s2, or 89,875,517,873,681,764 is equal to 7.01 x 10-4 kg, or about 700mg, 0.7 of a gram of matter. That is less than a sugar packet of matter. It is more closely equal to the mass of two aspirin tablets.
The per capita electrical consumption of Toronto in 2011 was approximately 10,000 kw/hours. That's the electrical energy used in total divided by each person living in Toronto. All of the industrial and residential electrical supply used by the city is included in this. A Watt is one Joule per second, and 10,000 Kilowatts is 10,000,000 Joules per second. A kilowatt hour is 10,000,000 Joules per second for an hour, or 10,000,000 x 3600 seconds = 36,000,000,000 Joules, 36 x 109 or 36 billion joules. 63 TeraJoules divided by 36 billion Joules equals 1750. So the electrical energy used per capita in the City of Toronto allowing people to power all of their appliances and their home along with their portion of industrial power use included, for 1750 years of today's usage, is roughly equivalent to the energy of the atomic blast in Hiroshima.
I originally asked about the power of the atomic bomb, not the energy though. Power is how fast energy is used, consumed or converted. One power measurement we are familiar with is horsepower. One horsepower is 746 Watts, or 746 Joules per second. The atomic explosion converted 700 milligrams of matter into energy. This took place in under a microsecond. 63 TeraJoules being converted in 1 microsecond is 84,450,402,144,772,118 horsepower. That's 84.5 quadrillion horsepower. There are only around 58 million horses on Planet Earth! You would need around one and a half billion present day Planet Earths to have that much real horsepower. In another analogy, if you assume there are about 1 billion cars on Planet Earth, each one with an average of 100 horsepower, you can see that if every car was driven as hard as it could be all at once, every car in the world, you would still need to multiply the power level by 844,504!!! You see the energy we use in our lives over time seems less impressive than a giant bomb, but if the energy we use in 1750 years were to be concentrated into 1 microsecond, a multiplication of 55 billion times, well, you get the picture. The Sun itself puts out less than 6 million Hirosima bombs, and we know how big the Sun is, even at over 90 million miles away. In fact, the temperature of the Hiroshima fireball was hotter than the surface of the sun (7000°C vs. 5600°C). The Hiroshima explosion was more than 1500 times more powerful than the explosion at Chernobyl. The Hiroshima bomb was so powerful that if I had made a mistake in any of these calculations, it would be entirely irrelevant. In fact, that bomb was called "Little Boy", much like you would call a fat person skinny to be sarcastic, or maybe just to let everyone know that there are adult bombs.
An unbelievably small amount of matter can be used to supply our lives and our world with abundant energy. We can move mountains with this kind of energy, literally. This incredible scientific achievement was the result of years of research, a choice collection of the brightest minds in the fields of mathematics and physics, and a billion of 1940's dollars. This event ranks as a major milestone of achievement of human intelligence. To turn less than a gram of matter into that kind of energy ---- truly seems God-like.
The people of Hiroshima, on that beautiful summer morning, like most people carefully trying to balance their troubles and joys as they made their way through life's often difficult path, were in the right place, at the right time. The bomb falling towards them was not. The height of human intellectual achievement was rapidly falling into the deepest depths of human stupidity. For the failure to solve a disagreement among a scant few, a bomb is dropped on a city of innocent people. I don't believe there could be an event more descriptive of pure human stupidity. There's simply nothing stupider than resorting to annihilating the most innocent of people to solve a dispute. In the dictionary of life, there is an image of the Hiroshima mushroom cloud under the word stupid. Unfortunately, the event was repeated a second time, as if we needed confirmation that we really were that stupid the first time.
So when we look for the definition of human intelligence, we often get the image of Albert Einstein, and we often see his famous simple equation E=mc2. How I ask could an achievement of incredible human intelligence exist so tightly bound with an equal amount of incredible stupidity, side by side duplicitously, one facing the other? The first thing that people did after discovering how to release atomic energy, was to bomb people that had nothing to do with their dispute. Actually, the reason the technology was developed at that time was to bomb innocent people. It seems to me if we could somehow remove our heads from our collective asses, and use our intelligence to bring joy and happiness we really could achieve greatness. Unfortunately, people conform to nonsensical beliefs, dogmata, expressions, without question. I believe that the bond between intelligence and stupidity, truth and nonsense, fate and free will, organization and disorganization can be broken. It may take wisdom to see that life's complex questions can be solved with the simplest of answers. Likewise, it may take wisdom to understand that asking the simplest of questions can resolve a complex answer. A fool is the one who suspects that the truth needs to be complicated.
I believe that once truth is exposed, in an often elementary way, you can break this bond, in turn releasing incredible amounts of energy in the form of knowledge. I believe that knowledge is the fuel we need to move forward. Yes it's knowledge, not ignorance that is bliss. If you compare ignorance to half truths, ignorance may come out on top. If you compare true and complete knowledge to ignorance though, it's knowledge that is our saviour. If I knew everything, I would make everything go my way, and lead a blissful and endless life. I would create heaven on earth. One of the biggest obstacles to knowledge though is our own inability to see the obvious, and again our expectation that seemingly difficult questions do not have simple answers. I would like to present an example of this human shortcoming starting with the following commonly used phrase:
"FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE!"
We've all heard this expression, and have probably used it. Has anyone ever stopped to think if it made sense? Let me present a scenario. You are in school with an exam paper in front of you. There is a multiple choice question that asks:
What do we commonly use to fight fire?
Would you be stumped? Have you ever seen a firefighter put out a house fire with a flamethrower? What comes out of a fire hydrant? Fire? Or water? You see, us humans do not use fire to fight fire. That just creates more fire. We use water to fight fire, it is most effective. Some may argue this expression is derived from performing a "controlled burn" at a forest fire. A controlled burn is not fighting the fire, it is containing the fire. Why do we contain the fire? Because we can't get enough water in to fight the fire, so we cut our losses and run. Cutting your losses and running is not fighting by any definition. No, we fight fire with water, clearly, as it is also the safest way to fight a fire. We also tend to perpetuate nonsensical expressions.
Actually, we do fight fire with fire, all the time, even though it makes no sense. When someone throws a rock, we throw a rock. When someone fires a gun, we fire a gun. When someone drops a bomb on a city, we drop a bomb on a city, when someone tortures their prisoners, we torture ours too. It's called war. It's fighting fire with fire, and creating more fire. Has anyone ever stopped to think if it made sense? We should not fight war with war and create more war, we should perhaps like in the fire example use the opposite-a benign seemingly powerless tool. If war is violence and stupidity, then its nemesis
must be peace and intelligence. Again, some might argue that a pacifist approach will not protect you from someone hurling a bomb. I will argue that if you can raise a billion dollars, round up the world's smartest minds, and create 63 trillion freakin' Joules of energy from less than a handful of dust, you should be able to prevent someone from hating you.
If you think I was going to suggest water to fight war, you are also right. Water too is a theme on this website (note the giant water ball above), and the fact that many of us are not drinking enough of it. Thirst is a notoriously bad indicator to our water needs, and as we age, it gets worse. Some estimations have most of us chronically dehydrated at least to a mild degree causing all kind of problems from cancer to constipation, to mood disorders and anxiety attacks. Do I think that if we could convince some political leaders to drink adequate amounts of water we might have less wars due to more mental stability? Yes, I do. The USDA has provided data on dehydration to help back up these claims. I won't ruin the surprise for you now, so keep reading. I hope you are enlightened.
I believe in the following rule of thumb:
"In every cloud of intelligence, there's a storm of stupidity."
I hope to create a discussion and to get input from others in their lives where they also have met face to face with blinding nonsense and utter stupidity underlying what everyone else mistakingly believes is normal, acceptable, or even intellectual. We need to break the bonds and release the knowledge and increase our proficiency in defending ourselves against the wrong disguised as right, as even one small milestone will create tremendous benefit.
Many religious people believe that good always overcomes evil, and I too believe that. This will only happen if we channel it. Knowledge may lead to harm, but I refuse to believe that knowledge ultimately won't lead to goodness. I believe that the dangers of ignorance outweigh the dangers of knowledge. I cannot live in a world where this wasn't so. The belief in underlying goodness is supported by logic, after all we are the ones that decide how to use knowledge and what constitutes right or wrong. I think too that channeling knowledge is a full-time job and a hard job at that, although I think that we are equipped for it.
I'm going to try to release the knowledge contained in the storms of blatant stupidity that I find among the 'intellectual authorities' such as doctors, scientists, governments and intellectuals alike. I will stare eye to eye with the storms, and hopefully encourage others to fearlessly do the same. I am also going to create a site to showcase some of my life's stories, and my personal beliefs and expressions. I love inventing as well, and I'm going to share some ideas that float around in my grey stuff.
By the way, if you find yourself facing a nuclear fireball, hopefully you will be at least 90 millions miles away from it. Even then, protect yourself from the fire not with fire, but with proper amounts of water; stay hydrated!
1. Nemesis: In Greek mythology, Nemesis was the spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris (arrogance before the gods). The Greeks personified vengeful fate as a remorseless goddess: the goddess of revenge. Nemesis noticed and attracted Narcissus, a hunter who was renowned for his beauty and was exceptionally proud of what he did to those who loved him, to a pool. He saw his reflection and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus died. Narcissus is the origin of the term narcissism, a fixation with oneself.
Nemesis used water as devine retribution.
The name Nemesis is related to the Greek word némein, meaning "to give what is due".
Well I thought that was a great story, lots of connections! The truth is though that people are incredibly intelligent and can be organized to achieve great things, but stopping war so far isn't one of those things. It is extremely difficult to prevent people with their freedom from killing others, and if we could suspend that freedom we who would we delegate as the gatekeeper? Come to think of it, freedom doesn't mean freedom from war because freedom also means freedom to wage war. Everything must be free with freedom, so freedom doesn't really mean much, without a reference point. Anything goes on planet earth, until it is sorted out. A virus appears because it can, and for no other reason other than to encourage an interaction to either promote it or mitigate it. Expect the unexpected, and deal with it fast is really the rule of law.
When I look at nature, more specifically other non-human primates, I wonder why infighting amongst them is not so common. Experts emphasize that extreme violence among non-human primates is rare. I also learned that all non-human apes are basically vegetarians. Chimps eat meat a bit, and are the closest to humans. They are also arguably a little more violent. Is there a connection between eating meat and war?
Moving land animals do not present themselves on your dinner plate. If you wish to eat them, you need to chase, stab, beat, trap, torture and possibly burn them before you have a meal. If you decide to be a meat eater, you need to engage in war. Attacking and killing a land animal is not much different from attacking and killing another human, and you may need to if you have competition for your food. Another human may actually become your food. You would certainly need to practise your skills, and other less agreeable humans might just be a great target. Pretty soon, war is your first choice. As a meat-eater, a chaser of moving land animals, you would be more successful as a younger, healthier individual. Someone with less baggage. Someone who is used to others dying randomly and suddenly, someone who may benefit from cancer taking the old, and randomly killing to keep us immune from the horror of death
. The incidence of cancer in non-human primates is very low as well, as a matter of fact. Cancer and war are our biggest problems on earth, arguably. By eating large moving land animals, we have paid a heavy price. At this point in our evolution, we have little need for infighting of mass proportions. If you could ask a monkey, I'm sure the response would be that it makes no sense.
Innocent Boy without the Crook and Flail